BenQ Demotes CEO, Announces Two Cameras

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Back in March, BenQ’s CEO K.Y. Lee offered his resignation in the wake of the financial disaster brought on my the purchase of Seimen’s AG mobile phone business, while cost the company over $1 billion dollars before BenQ finally gave up and wound up parting the company out and selling it for scrap. At the time, BenQ’s board expressed confidence in longtime leader Lee, insisting he stay on and guide the company back to profitability.

Today, BenQ continues to hemorrhage money—even after a move in April to spin off its own brand and focus on contract manufacturing operations—and a trial is set to get underway in a few weeks in which five BenQ executives will face insider trading charges related to the losses from BenQ’s mobile business. And BenQ’s board has apparently lost some confidence in K.Y. Lee: a BenQ spokesperson has confirmed that Lee will retain his chairmanship of the company, but will no longer be CEO of BenQ companies AU Optronics and BenQ Corporation. Lee will remain chairman of both companies as well as Qisda, the new company which will carry on BenQ’s manufacturing business, but Qisda will not have a CEO. Its president will be Hsiung Hui, an executive VP at AU Optronics.

In the meantime, BenQ has announced two new consumer-oriented digital cameras—the E820 and C740i—perhaps in a poorly-timed effort to put a positive spin on its business operations. Although the company hasn’t offered any pricing or availability details (they almost never do), the E820 will offer an 8 megapixel resolution, face-detection, sensitivity down to ISO 1000, a 2.5-inch LCD display, 3× optical zoom, and a Pentax lens. The camera will also be capable of capturing video, and will offer to capture images at 3:2 aspect ratios (and video at 16:9) for easy translation to photo printing and widescreen TVs. The C740i will offer a 7 megapixel resolution, a 3× optical zoom, and a portrait mode with ISO sensitivity down to 1600, along with a manual mode which enables users to customize aperture and shutter speeds. Both cameras come with 6 MB of built-in memory and store images to SD cards; again, no word on pricing or availability.

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